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Japan’s top 10 cat names so far for 2017

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

There are a lot of responsibilities with welcoming a new pet into your home. Not only will you need to give it the love and attention it requires for a happy, healthy life, your animal companion will also be dependent on you to provide it with a name.

To help with that last task, Japanese Internet portal Iris Pet has released its newest list of the most popular cat names in Japan, compiled from responses from 1,671 cat owners. Just like with human names, kitty moniker trends change over time, so let’s take a look at how things have changed since last year for both male and female cats, as well as the overall rankings.

● Top names for female cats

10 (tie). Chacha 10 (tie). Fuku (meaning “Lucky”) 10 (tie). Mii 10 (tie). Mugi (“Barley) 10 (tie). Mei

  1. Kuro (“Black”)
  2. Sakura (“Cherry Blossom”) 6 (tie). Chibi (“Tiny”) 6 (tie). Momo (“Peach”)
  3. Mike (“Tortoiseshell”)
  4. Hime (“Princess”)
  5. Koko
  6. Hana (“Flower”)
  7. Nana

For female cats, Hana slipped from the top spot it held in 2016, being replaced by Nana, a popular name for human females in Japan as well with possible meanings including “seven,” “quince,” and “pear.” Nana saw a large jump in popularity, as it wasn’t even in the top 10 female cat names in Iris Pet’s 2016 survey, nor were Mike (pronounced like the pronoun “me” and letter “K”), Chibi, Chacha, Fuku, or Mugi.

● Top names for male cats

8 (tie). Koko 8 (tie). Sora (“Sky”) 8 (tie). Tama (“Ball”) 8 (tie). Hachi 8 (tie). Fuku (“Lucky”) 8 (tie). Momo (“Peach”)

  1. Maru (“Circle”) 5 (tie). Kotetsu (“Small Iron”) 5 (tie). Maron (from marron, the French word for “chestnut”)
  2. Kotaro 1 (tie). Kuro (“Black”) 1 (tie). Tora (“Tiger”) 1 (tie). Reo (the Japanese corrupted pronunciation of Leo, as in “lion”)

More masculine names took the top slots in the male list, with Kuro and Reo/Leo both jumping up from their tied number-five position last year, and Tora bouncing up from number seven to make up the last part of this year’s three-way tie. Sora, last year’s most popular male name, tumbled down several spots but still managed to hold on to a spot on the list, which also included the macho samurai-like Kotaro and Kotetsu.

● Top ten overall cat names

10 (tie). Tama (“Ball”) 10 (tie). Tora (“Tiger”) 10 (tie). Mii 10 (tie). Rin 10 (tie). Reo (“Leo”)

  1. Fuku (“Lucky”)
  2. Hime (“Princess”)
  3. Mike (“Tortoiseshell”) 4 (tie). Chibi (“Tiny”) 4 (tie). Hana (“Flower”) 4 (tie). Momo (“Peach”) 2 (tie). Kuro (“Black”) 2 (tie). Nana
  4. Koko

Last year’s overall most popular name, Momo, still ended up as one of the survey respondents’ favorites in 2017. However, in the end, it was Koko that finished atop the list, reportedly thanks to its associations with the similarly pronounced “cocoa,” “coconut,” and fashion designer Coco Chanel.

In 12 months’ time, we’ll likely see these ranking get shaken up again, but for right now, they’re the top dogs, or cats, actually, of Japan’s feline pet community.

Source: Iris Pet

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- The fantastic feast of festival food in Japan -- Japanese men pick their favorite Studio Ghibli anime heroine 【Survey】 -- Young Japanese singles list the organizations they’d most like a potential date to work for

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I wonder how many of these cute kittens will end up being abandoned by their owners as too much trouble and no longer cute enough, and gassed by the local authorities in one of their daily mass gas chambers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I prefer simplicity. Our cat's name is "cat".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My first cat was named Tiger due to her markings. She lived to 17 years.

My younger brother had a hamster and Tiger would go to the cage but only looked and some times they snifed each other through the bars.

But you had to stroke the cat before going near the hamster or you risked serious clawing from Tiger. :)

My second cat was called Loppy due to its crazyness. She lived to 19 years.

While still nothing more than a fluffy kitten, she came into the kitchen meowing to be feed.

I was washing the dishes and said "i'll feed you soon". Next thing i knew the kitten was sticking four paws of claws into my left bum cheek. I never turned my back on her when she was meowing for food again.

I miss having a cat, but untill i have a full time job, i can not aford to keep one. :(

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh, my farovite name wasn't nominated. My favorite one is, of course, Nyan-Nyan! This name comes from sound of cat's cry. In English speaking country, when you see cat crying, you probably hear "meow." On the other hand, Japanese hear it as "Nya(h)." So, Nyan-Nyan derives from how Japanese people hear the sound. Let's pronounce "Nyan-Nyan." What a cute sound it is! I want the name to be nominated in the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a young child, I was asked to name the cat. Why did my elder siblings find "Pussy" so amusing?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The fact that someone made this article means we are all doomed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I prefer simplicity. Our cat's name is "cat"."

I prefer sophistication, Stranger, our cat's name is "Kitty-Cat."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well that's just a pussy name :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I prefer sophistication, Stranger, our cat's name is "Kitty-Cat."

I prefer smart, our cats name is wathever we call her that moment. Normally, $%$&&$&%%& cat is scratching the courtains again!

Thats a joke, she never do that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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